Why Jada Pinkett Smith Says Will’s Oscars Slap Is ‘His Story to Tell’

Why Jada Pinkett Smith Says Will’s Oscars Slap Is ‘His Story to Tell’

Jada Pinkett Smith is telling her story in her memoir, Worthy, but understands one big chapter is meant for her husband, Will Smith, to share.

On Tuesday, the 52-year-old author sat down with CBS Mornings, where she addressed the “really deep subject” of Will slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards — after the comedian made a joke about her shaved head. 

“I think you gotta be really careful about the why,” she told Nate Burleson. “So that’s Will’s story to tell.” 

The Set It Off actress revealed that following the night — which happened amid their years-long private separation — she was once again his wife. 

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“What I will say is that being there with him that night, what I did know is that I might not have walked in there as his wife, but I left that night as his wife. And as I sit here today, I am going to be by his side always,” she said.

Will and Jada tied the knot in 1997. In Worthy, Jada shocked the world when she revealed that in 2016, she and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star privately decided to separate. 

“I would say that that separation did work,” Jada shared on CBS Mornings. “Because I really feel like for myself I needed time for emotional maturity. First of all, I was in a deep healing process and I really needed to dissolve some false ideas of what marriage is. False ideas of what I thought Will needed to be for me, versus what I needed to learn to be for myself, in order to have a loving relationship. So I had to really do some deep healing.” 

Jada admitted that following Will’s appearance on her Red Table Talk, where they infamously revealed her “entanglement,” she publicly took on the false narrative as a cheating wife to protect his privacy. 

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“That was Will’s choice,” she said about the candid appearance. “I think at that particular point in time we were both going through a process of dissolving this idea of what a relationship should look like and really just be honest about the difficulties that comes with being in a long-term relationship. At that time, I decided to take the hit, an untruth of being … as being an adulteress wife, which was not true.” 

As for the lesson she wants people to take away from her and Will’s decades-long love story? That loving someone unconditionally is the most important aspect. 

“People need to take away this fantasy that relationships should be perfect. This fantasy that people should be perfect. Life is nuanced, life is complicated. And what’s most important is that when you have somebody with you that’s willing to learn how to love, and you two are willing to learn how to love each other — ride it out,” she said.

And Will and Jada’s love appears to still be strong. Last month, they took to their respective Instagram accounts to share pictures featuring them together with their children at a celebration for Jada’s mother, Adrienne “Gammy” Banfield-Norris’, 70th birthday. 


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